Working with Foreign Home Buyers

Over 80 agents gathered at a workshop on December 4th to learn more about working with foreign home buyers. The rise in international home buyers is a trend that we have been following for some time. However, there is always something more to learn and we look forward to hearing from multiple experts to increase our knowledge.

All of our Windermere Real Estate brokers attend events similar to this in order to keep up to date with rising trends. As highlighted in a recent Trend Report: The Rise of International Home Buyer, Chinese buyers are drawn to the Puget Sound area due to job opportunities, education, and even pop culture. Windermere Eastside agents attending these events are more prepared for the area’s growing international market.

Thank you to Moya Skillman and Karishma Kiri, Debbie Lin, and Mike Moghaddas of the broker panel.

Trend Report: The Rise of the International Home Buyer

Trend Report Title
International homebuyers are having increasingly more impact on the local real estate market. And in the past few years, wealthy Chinese nationals have emerged as the biggest foreign buyers of real estate in King County.

Below is a brief overview of the potential buying power of this growing market.

Spotlight on China

Chinese have considerable wealth and are looking for opportunities to invest that wealth in the U.S.

GDP Chart• China has the second largest GDP in the world after the U.S.
• China has over two million millionaires, more than any country but the U.S.
• 47% of Chinese millionaires plan to move out of the country in the next five years.

Chinese traditionally see real estate as a strong investment

Financing Chart - Cash






• Of all international buyers, Chinese are the largest in dollar volume of homes purchased in the U.S.
• The median price of homes purchased was $523,148.
• Approximately 76 percent of purchases were all cash.


Chinese buyers are drawn to the Puget Sound area

Major Buyers ChartBuyer State Preferences






• Of the $22 billion dollars in sales from Chinese buyers in 2014, 9% took place in Washington state. This means Chinese clients purchased $1.98 billion in residential real estate in Washington state last year. To put that number in context, $1.98 billion represents 14 percent of all sales in King County in 2013.
• When asked why they are leaving China, 78 percent of respondents in a Barclays and Ledbury study said they were seeking better educational and employment opportunities for their children.

A next generation of Chinese are making their home here

• 11 percent of the UW 2013 freshman class is from China.
• More than half of the international applications to the UW Graduate School came from China.
Finding Mr. Right, a blockbuster Chinese romantic comedy set in Seattle, has become one of China’s top-grossing films of all time and is helping to boost interest in the area.